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Australian scientists announce solar energy breakthrough

SYDNEY: Australian scientists said Monday they had made a breakthrough in increasing the efficiency of solar panels, which they hope could eventually lead to cheaper sources of renewable energy. In what the University of New South Wales described as a world first, the researchers were able to convert more than 40 percent of sunlight hitting...

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 7, 2014 | Last Updated: 6 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Dec 7, 2014 | Last Updated: 6 years ago
Australian scientists announce solar energy breakthrough

SYDNEY: Australian scientists said Monday they had made a breakthrough in increasing the efficiency of solar panels, which they hope could eventually lead to cheaper sources of renewable energy.

In what the University of New South Wales described as a world first, the researchers were able to convert more than 40 percent of sunlight hitting the panels into electricity.

“This is the highest efficiency ever reported for sunlight conversion into electricity,”  UNSW Professor Martin Green said in a statement.

“We used commercial solar cells, but in a new way, so these efficiency improvements are readily accessible to the solar industry.”

While traditional methods use one solar cell, which limits the conversion of sunlight to electricity to about 33 percent, the newer technology splits the sunlight into four different cells, which boosts the conversion levels, Green told AFP.

The record efficiency level was achieved in tests in Sydney and replicated at the United States government's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the university said.

The prototype technology is set to be harnessed by Australian company RayGen Resources for solar power towers, which use sun-tracking mirrors to focus sunlight on a tall building.

Green is hopeful the technology can also eventually be used for solar panels mounted on people's roofs, which he said currently had a 15 to 18 percent efficiency rate.

“The panels that you have on the roof of your home, at the moment they just have a single cell but eventually they'll have several different cells… and they'll be able to improve their efficiency to this kind of level,” he told AFP.

Green said strides in technology made in the solar industry such as the higher conversion levels were helping to drive down the cost of renewable energy.

He was confident that in a decade solar-generated electricity would be cheaper than that produced by coal. – afp

Younis happy to be back in one-day fold

DUBAI: Veteran Pakistan batsman Younis Khan on Sunday expressed his delight at being recalled to the one-day team which raised hopes of a final campaign in next year's World Cup being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The 37-year-old was recalled to the one-day squad, as well as the 30-man World Cup preliminary squad, after scoring four scintillating centuries in the Test series against both Australia and New Zealand since October.

Younis hoped he would justify his recall in the five-match one-day series against New Zealand starting in Dubai on Monday.

“I am a happy man to be back,” said Younis, who played just one limited over game in August this year after a 17-month hiatus due to lack of form.

“I hope I do well in this series and then the World Cup, it is very important,” said Younis, who has not scored a one-day hundred for six years.

Younis hoped Pakistan would defeat New Zealand in the the one-day trophy after both the preceding Tests and Twenty20 series finished all square at 1-1.

“We don't want to share this one-dayers. I hope Pakistan will do well in the one-dayers. We have fantastic players in one-dayers. Everyone saw what happened in the T20s. In 50-over cricket, we have some fantastic players, who I think will perform well for Pakistan,” said Younis.

Younis added he would like to bat at number three.

“My position in one-day cricket has changed since the time I started playing international cricket. I am always happy if I am able to bat higher up in the order to contribute to a Pakistan win,” said Younis.

Younis was pleased that Pakistan's recent wins were due to good batting.

“In the past we have had legendary bowlers in the Pakistan line-up, who were match-winners. It is on very rare occasion that batting has won you matches, it has mostly been the bowling which has made the difference,” he said.

Younis felt Pakistan could lift only their second World Cup trophy, having won it in 1992 in Australia.

“We have a good chance in the World Cup, because we have players in our side who can do well there,” said Younis.

“It is often said that sub-continent sides don't do well on pitches with bounce. But if you look at the Pakistan side we went to South Africa and beat them there in a one-day series (last year).

“So that's the reason I believe we have a very good chance in the upcoming one-dayer series and especially during the World Cup.” – AFP

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